Deliberately and consciously embracing gratitude on a daily basis while attending addiction treatment can positively benefit your recovery in a number of ways. Studies have shown that feeling grateful on a consistent basis have bio-psycho-social benefits that can help you maintain your recovery over the long-term. Feelings of gratitude can offset other, more negative feelings of discontent. Here are four reasons why you should make gratitude a daily practice while working through addiction treatment.
1. A Change of Perspective
It may be awkward or feel forced at the beginning, but cultivating a sense of gratitude on a consistent basis will create a long-lasting shift in your perspective. What previously seemed an insurmountable obstacle may now look like a satisfying challenge. A comment that you might have taken as criticism before now comes across as helpful, honest advice. This shift can help you view the world in a more positive way, contributing to your recovery and overall happiness.
2. Better Health
Physical health often suffers under the weight of substance abuse, especially if you have abused drugs or alcohol for a long time. By practicing gratefulness and experiencing the positive benefits it brings, you can reap a marked improvement in your physical health over time. Those that cultivate gratefulness while in rehab all commonly report a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and fewer aches and pains.
3. Improved Sleep
If you are struggling to get adequate sleep in rehab, try counting your blessings instead of counting sheep. Feeling grateful before falling asleep can actually improve the quality of your sleep, helping you feel more rested and able to confront the difficult work of recovery the next day.
4. Increased Generosity
By practicing gratitude, you will naturally increase your capacity for generosity, compassion, empathy, and helpfulness. As you feel thankful for your own blessings in life, you will see more and more opportunities to help others recognize their own. The ability to help others is another thing to be grateful for at the end of the day, thereby creating a positive feedback loop that will help make your time in rehab a meaningful and optimistic experience.
Recovery from addiction and gratitude are heavily intertwined. When you have been living a life of addiction and taking each day for granted, feeling grateful for each day you wake up alive and healthy is almost a given. If you are trying to practice consistent gratitude while attending rehab, try some of these exercises:
- Make a list of all of the things you are grateful for that day, week or month. Some things may stay the same, such as good health, good food, or a comfortable bed. Other things will change, like appreciating a compliment somebody paid you that morning. Pick a specific time to write your list and stick with it.
- Write ‘thankfulness’ letters to people who have helped you in some way, either before, during, or after you entered treatment. These letters will not only make you feel better, but they can help repair or strengthen relationships that you wish to preserve into your new, sober lifestyle.
- Start or end your day with a single question, such as “What am I grateful for right now?” or “What opportunities can I be grateful for today?” Invite yourself to feel gratitude as a consistent beginning or ending to each of your days during treatment, and you will notice the difference it makes in your daily attitude.
- Make sure to sincerely thank one person for something every day. Feel the gratitude fully and deeply, even for a small act, such as somebody picking up something you dropped. You will find yourself looking for opportunities to thank people throughout the day.
Feeling gratitude during rehab can sometimes be challenging, but the benefit to your mind, body, and soul are worth the effort. Practicing gratefulness can be an integral part of a holistic addiction treatment plan.
At Recovery Village Ridgefield, we help Washington State residents learn to manage their addictions using evidence-based treatment plans designed to suit your individual needs. If you are struggling with addiction in Washington State, you are not alone. We know the weight of your struggle and are here to help. Contact us today to speak with an addiction professional, and start your journey toward wellness.